When Scurry-Rosser Independent School District (ISD)—a three-school district on the outskirts of Dallas—decided it was time to update aging facilities, they knew they needed to find a creative solution to do big-time renovations on a small-town budget.
Administrators partnered with Schneider Electric in a long-term energy efficiency performance contract to upgrade safety and security, increase classroom comfort and modernize aging district facilities. In tandem with the necessary renovations, the district used this creative funding mechanism to take its athletics department to the “next level.”
The expansive project included:
- Replacing the grass football field at the High School with artificial turf
- Upgrading the security camera system
- Installing security vestibules to all school entrances
- Enhancing indoor and outdoor lighting with LED technology
- Replacing obsolete HVAC equipment
- Modernizing outdated electrical infrastructure
- Providing a comprehensive building automation system
- Improving domestic water efficiency
All in all, Scurry-Rosser ISD will reduce utility consumption by 21 percent, with an average savings of $149,000 per year guaranteed by Schneider Electric for the life of the project.
Benefits Beyond Savings
While the energy efficiency upgrades and savings are paving the way for future investment in the school district, the project has already delivered a sizeable impact to the students and surrounding community:
1. Year-Round Facilities for Student Athletes
The biggest boon for student engagement at Scurry-Rosser ISD is the improvement of their recreational facilities to allow for year-round usage of the gyms, archery building, and football field. Previously, the notoriously hot Texas weather prevented students from enjoying their social and physical activities.
With the addition of HVAC and better lighting, sports programs in each school facility operate despite the weather outside, giving students access to more physical activity in their day. As a result, students have shown their excitement to use the facilities with boosted participation in existing programs.
2. Enhanced and Comfortable Learning Environments
Learning environments are more than individual classrooms, they are the cumulative educational, physical, social landscape that helps to shape student’s perceptions about themselves, society, and their future potential.
With brighter classrooms, temperature-controlled recreational and learning facilities, and enhanced security measures, students are given the opportunity to immerse themselves into all aspects of their school day without the burden of aging buildings inhibiting their learning or extracurriculars. Thanks to the savings from energy conservation measures, including a new, sustainable football field, the school will now be able to invest in enhancing the educational experience in better facilities.
3. Improved Security for Students and Faculty
Part of ensuring a comfortable learning environment is providing a secure facility, where the occupants are assured that building safety is being monitored while they engage in their development activities. As a component of the overall performance contract renovations, security measures were implemented to keep students and faculty safe.
The school system upgraded the security camera system and installed security vestibules at the main entrances to the elementary, middle, and high schools. This extra layer of protection provides administrators with advanced monitoring and admittance restriction capabilities, which in turn provides the students and staff the peace of mind needed to fully focus on school.
4. Community-Focused Events and Economic Boost
The upgraded artificial field at Scurry-Rosser High School was designed to be a low-maintenance, self-sustaining venue. The artificial turf is green year-round, requires much less costly maintenance than traditional grass and is safer because it creates a softer surface to cushion falls.
With minimal costs to operate, and the state-of-the-art turf, track, and lighting, this school addition has been transformed into a community hub and revenue-generator.
Given the aesthetic and safety features of the sustainable turf, it can now play host to economy-boosting activities, such as community and sports tourism events. In addition, the savings from the sustainable field contributes to the recovered revenue that the school can then use to reinvest in other upgrades, repairs, and student learning opportunities.
5. Regional Recognition for Scurry-Rosser ISD Students
The students of Scurry-Rosser ISD have a renewed sense of pride and higher morale thanks to the improvement in their buildings. Students are receiving recognition from their peers, as the reputation of the new-and-improved Scurry has made waves on social media. A local middle school student was shocked to find that her little-known Texas town was garnering positive attention.
“Now that everybody is sharing pictures of our new track or all these new improvements, I tell them where I’m from and they’re like ‘oh, yeah, Scurry, I remember that,’” she said.
Scurry has more to be recognized for than their slick new facilities. They’re helping lead the way in sustainability, creating a healthier and more environmentally-friendly community. The project will have an environmental impact equivalent to removing 2,120 cars from the road, planting 2,880 acres of new trees or removing 10,560 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
See the new facilities in action here.